Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you should succumb to the hotel treadmill to maintain your mileage. Instead, join a guided running tour.
Achilles Running Tours – San Francisco
A love of running, racing and the Bay Area led Adam Zelazny to found Achilles Running Tours. “Thanks to the relatively small size of San Francisco, you can experience many of the city’s unique and famous sights and sounds in a very short distance,” he says. Achilles generally offers 3- to 5-mile tours with customized tours available.
Most popular tour: The Downtown Tour (4 miles), including a stop by the iconic Coit Tower.
Heard on the run: The first slot machine was invented right along the Downtown Tour route.
Rockin’ Running Tours – Memphis, Tenn.
“We really wanted to offer an active tourism option in a city known mostly for blues, brews and barbecue,” says John Lintner, who started the company with his wife. A tour through Memphis will acquaint you with the town’s musical history—from Elvis to W.C. Handy. Or you can opt for a casual 3- to 4-mile pub run to sample some local microbrews.
Most popular tour: Rockin’ Downtown Loop (6 miles), including a stop by Sun Studio, where Elvis was discovered.
Heard on the run: “Here’s the church where Johnny Cash played his first live show,” from the Midtown Hipster Run.
Flamingo Running Tours – South Florida
Niki Offutt says she loves to run and loves playing tour guide, so at the suggestion of her uncle, she looked into running tours. “We didn’t know such a thing existed,” she says, but after taking a running tour in New York, she decided to adapt the idea for South Florida. Diverse architecture, gorgeous water views and beautiful parks entertain runners during the 6- to 8-mile tours. Plus a Florida orange awaits every runner.
Most popular tour: Miami Beach tour (6 miles) includes running along Ocean Drive, where the movies “Bad Boys,” “The Birdcage” and “Scarface” were filmed.
Heard on the run: “You might be surprised to know that flamingos aren’t native Floridians. If we’re lucky, we’ll spot a plastic one in its natural environment!”
RELATED PHOTOS: Ironman 70.3 Florida
San Diego Jogging Tours – San Diego
While in Chicago, San Diego Jogging Tours founder William Lopez saw a group running tour go by. “I realized all the cities [that have running tours] were cold and that San Diego was a perfect city for jogging tours,” he says. The company now has four different tours available—including on Coronado Island and through historic Old Town—ranging from 3.5 to 10 miles. With such mild SoCal weather year-round, tours are offered daily.
Most popular tour: The Downtown Tour (8 miles) takes you past Petco Park, where the San Diego Padres play.
Heard on the run: On the Coronado tour, you’ll see the Hotel del Coronado, where presidents Roosevelt, Taft, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and both Bushes have stayed.
City Running Tours – New York City
Michael Gazaleh’s job as a New York chiropractor connected him with a visiting Australian in search of a running buddy to guide him through Manhattan. After giving the visitor a running tour of the city, Gazaleh decided to start City Running Tours that week. It now offers 3- to 6-mile tours in nine cities across the U.S., including Seattle, Chicago and Minneapolis.
Most popular tour: The Brooklyn Brewery Run, a 5-mile tour of Williamsburg, plus a free beer at Brooklyn Brewery.
Heard on the run: “Prior to the American Revolution, the Lower East Side was an apple orchard. That’s why every September they celebrate the annual NYC Apple Festival.”
RELATED PHOTOS: NYC Triathlon
RunBoston – Boston, Mass.
While training for a half-marathon, husband-and-wife Jared and Abby Perrine were inspired to create their own running tour company. “We were running along the Charles River when we started talking about what a great city Boston is and how much a runner can see within only a few miles,” says Abby. And voilà: Personalized tours where you can choose the pace, mileage and exactly which Boston highlights you want to see. RunBoston also has group runs available.
Most popular tour: A 4-mile Best of Boston run that includes the Boston Marathon finish line.
Heard on the run: The real story of Paul Revere’s midnight ride.